Title: City of San Francisco Derailment Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1939-1949
Collection number: MS 39
Extent: 2 document boxes + 1 flat document box
California State Railroad Museum Library
Sacramento, California 95814
Shelf location: Big Four Building or off-site storage. Please contact
the Library in advance of your visit.
Gift of Brian Thompson, 1988
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Senior
Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the
physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], City of San Francisco Derailment Collection, MS 39, California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento,
Includes newspaper clippings, Southern Pacific records, instructions, arrival and departure times, notes, maps, scrapbook,
photographs and a poster. Organized by type of material.
The train, City of San Francisco, operated by the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Chicago and North Western Railroads,
was called "the largest, fastest, most beautiful, powerful and luxurious streamliner ever designed," when inaugurated on January
2, 1939. The train, which carried passengers between Oakland, California and Chicago, derailed on August 12, 1939, at a site
between Harney and Palisade, in eastern Nevada. The cars suffered tremendous damage, and there were many deaths and injuries
among the crew and passengers. Evidence found at the point of derailment indicated that it had been the result of sabotage.
Years of detective work by Southern Pacific and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, turned up much evidence and several suspects,
but no convictions were ever made. The identities and motives of the saboteurs remain a mystery.
Title: Photograph album No. 32